Midway through Little Dragon’s deliriously good fourth record arrives “Paris,” an early-Prince inspired electro-pop revelation. The blissful confection accentuates the Swedish band’s diversity and savvy as it’s nestled amid 11 other songs that further deepen the band’s sound while revealing dimensions only hinted at previously. The group, led by vocalist Yukimi Nagano, spends a good portion of the album slowing the beat down to explore more sensuous grooves. They find an unlikely sweet spot where new generation trip-hop meets ’80s R&B. Some of the chilly distance in Nagano’s vocals has receded, allowing a more compelling tension between openness and mystery. She transitions from playful (the swirling, delightful “Pretty Girls”) to conflicted (“Mirror,” “Killing Me”) to alluring without losing her balance. “Klapp Klapp” seems like an anomaly in a set that includes a woozy dreamscape (“Pink Clouds”) and liquid sky meditation (“Only One”). This is the kind of artistic leap every band hopes to make. (Out Tuesday)
ESSENTIAL “Paris”Ken Capobianco can be reached at email@example.com.